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Here is a sample essay based on one of the above topics: My grandmother. Sample 1 The frail old woman seated in the wheelchair slowly looks up when she hears approaching footsteps. I look at the deeply wrinkled face and search for some signs of recognition but fail to do so. She, on her part, looks at me blankly and after a few seconds continues doing what she had been doing earlier – looking at her gnarled fingers and toying with the gold band on her third finger. Sighing in disappointment, I wonder what is on her mind.

It pains my heart to know what Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis have done to this feeble woman. Grandmother has not always been like this. She used to be an energetic woman who had much love to share with those around her, be they her children, grandchildren or daughters-in law. My mother, her eldest son’s wife, had not a negative word to say about grandma who had welcomed her into their home. In fact, mum always says that she is blessed to have a mother-in-law and not a monster-in-law. Married at the tender age of 14 to a labourer, she had been a loyal and supportive wife.

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Grandfather, when he was alive, would sometimes regale us with stories from his past. He would fondly tell us that he was a lucky man to have married grandma although the circumstances under which they got married were not so joyous. Grandma had been the village beauty but when the Japanese invaded Malaya, my great grandfather, grandma’s father, decided that marriage was the only solution to save her from the clutches of the rampaging Japanese soldiers who went around raping and abducting young girls. “We did not marry for love, but survival.

Yet we are happy, unlike many young couples these days who split even before the honeymoon is over! ” Grandma always looked shy and demure when grandpa was in his story-telling moods. Blessed with three sons, they worked hard to bring up their boys. Grandpa and grandma, who were both illiterate, made sure that their sons got the education they deserved so that their lives would be different. Despite his meagre salary, grandfather was able to send his sons to school and later to university. He did this by working overtime and taking on other menial tasks.

Grandma did her share by washing and ironing clothes for a rich “taukey” and his family. All three sons got married in due time and lived with grandpa and grandma in a double storey house my dad bought soon after becoming the managing director of a local telco. After grandpa’s demise, however, my two uncles moved out due to work commitments. grandma continued to live with us as she could not bear to part with me, her first grandson. I am fortunate as I have many fond memories of my grandmother. She babysat me when my mum went to work.

She accompanied me to school every morning during my primary school years. She made sure I had my meals, cajoling me when I was reluctant to eat. She was there to share my happiness and sorrow. All this started to change when she had arthritis. It hurt me because there was nothing I could do to ease her suffering although she put on a brave front despite the excruciating pain she suffered when family members were present. Six years ago, grandmother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. At first, she forgot the little things – what she was doing, where she had put her glasses etc.

Slowly the disease took its toll. Now, she has forgotten everything. She cannot recognise her sons and their wives; worse still, she cannot remember me. It pains me to see a woman who had once been a bundle of energy reduced to this. I slowly move towards her, bend down and take her hands in mine, hoping that somehow, in the deep recesses of her faded memory, she can remember me. She looks up at me in childlike innocence and smiles, not out of recognition but in the way one would at strangers who show the slightest bit of caring. I know I have lost her forever.

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